Dear readers, 

today I am coming to you with a request. Kindly support the talented writer Vivian with her wonderful and important project.
Below, she tells herself what it is about.


"My name is Vivian Uchechi Ogbonna and I am an emerging writer from Nigeria. I started writing in 2014 and some of my short stories and articles have been published in ‘Roses for Betty,’ an anthology of short stories by Writivism Literary Initiative, The New Black Magazine, Premium Times, Sahara Reporters and My Mind Snaps.

The Nigeria-Biafra war is a painful part of Nigeria’s history. The war ended forty six years ago but the memories and scars have remained, especially with those who witnessed it. As part of efforts to keep these memories alive, I am compiling fifty stories to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the declaration of Biafra in May, 2017.


The idea for this project came to me because most written accounts about the war are the military exploits between the Nigerian and Biafra soldiers, such as which towns were captured and on which days. Few of them document the experiences of the civilian population – the men, women and children who became victims of the conflict. Those who were adults at the time are very elderly now and may not be alive for much longer, therefore losing their stories will be like losing our voice without the chance of finding it again. 

The collection will feature, among other themes, stories about the wounded and the dead; about family members who were separated, perhaps forever; about those who fell in love, got married and started families; about the severely malnourished children who, against all odds, were flown out of Biafra for medical treatment; about families who sheltered strangers; about trade and commerce which was still thriving in spite of the fighting; about the humanitarian organisations that worked tirelessly to bring succour to a dying people. 

This is not a political project about the ‘rightness’ or ‘wrongness of the war. My intention is to paint a detailed, well-rounded picture of Biafra in the voices of those who lived through it. In doing so, I hope to humanize these men and women who may not have fought in the trenches but whose lives were changed thereafter.

If you and your family have borne your stories in your heart these past fifty years, and would like to share it with the world, this is a great opportunity to do so. Kindly send your stories to BiafraStories@gmail.com.

Deadline for all submissions is December 31st, 2016. Phone numbers will be made available to people who wish to contribute.

Thank you."


History of Owerri

 Image result for owerri
Owerri was founded about the 14th century by our founding father Ekwem Oha.
His mother's name was Arugo.
He fled from Umuori village, Uratta in Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo
State when his life was threatened by his younger brother Ndum. The threat to his
life arose from the dispute over the sharing of the Funeral Cow slaughtered when
their father Oha the aristocrat and embodiment of royalty died. The first son ( Opara
in Igbo) Ekwem was to provide the funeral cow as demanded by custom. He did not
have the means to do so. He appealed to his younger brother Ndum popularly known
as Ndumoha to buy the cow, which he did. Ndum asked for the head, heart and
other parts of the cow that go to the first son in keeping with custom. His reason
being that he Ndum, bought the funeral cow. Ekwem turned down his request and a
quarrel ensued. The elders ( Oha Uratta) were invited to settle the dispute. They did
so by allowing tradition to prevail. Ekwem was entitled to the afor ementioned parts of
the cow being the first son. Ndum did not take kindly to this and so planned to kill
Ekwem in order to have his way. The plot leaked and Ekwem fled with his family at
the dead of the night to Egbu a neighboring town ( Community ) taking with them
some stores and domestic assistants. History has it that his sister was married at
Egbu. His sister fearing that Ndum may look for him asked him to continue his
journey to an unknown and uninhabited land for safety and settle there permanently .
They set out during the night with the aid of owa (native torch) and arrived at a hill
top now known as Ugwu Ekwema and settled there. They heaved a sigh of relief
or what rightly belonged to him. He sounded the drum ( as he was told by his sister )
to indicate his location. His sister was happy to locate him and his family the
following morning. She returned to Egbu thereafter .
The morning broke and they took their first meal roast old yam together in a typical
communion fashion ( not served) with thanks to Almighty and merciful Father our
Lord God for their safety, the thic k forest in the area being infested with dangerous
animals such as lions, tigers and snakes like pythons, vipers and cobras.
The advent of the British saw the anglicizing of Owere to Owerri but pronounced as
though it was spelt Owere. All the neighboring towns ( communities) of Owerri were
founded and existed on planet earth centuries or decades before Owerri came into
existence. It is a God given land ( DESTINY LAND being the slogan for Owerri
Municipal) and has remained protected with all the people therein by the same God
Almighty .
The British found them very clean people. Recall the presence of Nwaorie and
Otamiri rivers flanking Owerri on the West and South respectively . Owerri people
were caring, friendly and accommodating hence the choice of Owerri by the
British Colonial Government as first, Divisional Headquarters later Provincial
Headquarters and today a state capital of Municipal status. It is sad to note what
the so-called modern technology in culverting had done to both Nwaorie and
Otamiri rivers at the creation of Imo state in 1976 when Owerri became the state
capital. The fine bridges that flew across the rivers that once flowed with beauty
were pulled down to give way to the culverts whic h were perhaps
unprofessionally constructed. The rivers are now almost stagnant and would
require millions of Naira to dredge. The influence of the two rivers on the culture
of Owerri people is now historical. 
Oru Owere the annual festival or feast of Owerri indigenes cannot be written
without reference to the founding of Owerri. It has been mentioned earlier that
the first meal of the founding father of Owere and his family was roast old yam,
which they ate with oil bean salad at Ugwu Ekwema (Ekwema's hill).
After breakfast on arriving and settling at Ugwu Ekwema, there was the need for
water for obvious reasons. They knew that the source of Otamiri was at Egbu but
were ignorant of the course of the river owing to the thick rain forest of the area.
The communities or towns through whic h Otamiri flowed, were also known. It is
common knowledge that peculiar sounds or noises are characteristic of running
water from streams and rivers. That was Ekwema's experience that morning. He
ordered his men to use the direction of the sounds/noise to see if any could be
sighted. They obeyed his wish and by surprise stumbled on Otamiri river, close to
where Emmanuel College Owerri now stands. They ran back in excitement to
Ugwu Ekwema and broke the news of the presence of what they described as
OGBU AMUMA - a pleasant early morning sunrise experience of flashing rays of
the sun on the waters of Otamiri river reminiscent of the historical account of the
sighting of River Niger by the Scottish Explorer Mungo Park- GLI TTERING IN THE
OTAMIRI RIVER SIGHTED: Ekwema immediately commissioned his men to clear the
route to the river - IKPU UZO. The route cleared after which he feasted them with
corn porridge. 
The roasting of old yams the first meal and the corn meal entertainment developed
into a cultural festival or feast ORU OWERE with which indigenes commemorate the
founding of Owerri. These events tell the story of the founding of Owerri and the
time or period of the year Owerri was founded with the old yam and corn meal, whic h
are commonly consumed at that time of the year, the rainy season. Worthy of note
is the fact that the yam is old not new yam, as new yam had not yet been harvested.
Therefore Oru Owere is not new yam festival.

Oru Owere is Oru Eze ( the Eze's festival). The festival is marked by a period of the
observance of peace, love, friendliness and togetherness, devoid of bitterness,
quarrels, antagonism and physical confrontation, no weeping when death occurs
during the period, no firing of cannon and a time to make up quarrels without third
par ty intervention as stipulated by custom. However Oha Owere is the traditional
institution responsible for its c onduct and yearly observance. They determine the
commencement of the period by a system handed down by our ancestors. The
duration of the period is equally guided by the same system. All the key events
namely the beginning of the period, the roasting of the old yam, the corn porridge
entertainment ( MKPU KPU UZO) and the day marking the end of the period are Orie
market days. The period begins in the month of June and lasts till mid August.
Between the roasting of old yam ( Oru Owere Proper ) and the corn porridge meal is
the GRAND FINALE c haracterized by a colourful procession of age grade
formations in Owerri community through given routes in the Old City . The Civic
procession assembles at Ugwu Ekwema Civic Center ( the c ivic center of Owerri
Community ) from where it talks off and terminates at the end of the procession
where invited guests are received and made to have a feel of Oru Owere with
traditional dances displays and entertainment. The first item of entertainment after
the breaking of kolanuts by Eze Owere is roast old yam. Ugwu Ekwema is our
ancestral home which significance informed our choice of locating the Community
Civic Center. 
Perhaps the reader may wish to know when Owerri indigenes are free to eat the New
Yam. The eating of the new yam by Owere indigenes begins the day immediately
after MKPU KPU OZU which is the day that marks the beginning of the new calendar
year in Igbo culture.
Accordingly, it is pertinent to note that Owerri people the indigenes of the capital
of Imo state do not celebrate the New Yam.
When increase in population began, there was the need to expand to other fronts.
The sons of Ekwem and their families moved away from the ancestral home at Ugwu
Ekwema, to different directions within the confines of the two rivers close to each
other with their families leading to the growth and development of the villages of
Owerri which derived their names from the sons of Ekwem. The grave of Ekwem
stands prominently on the grounds of Ugwu Ekwem Civic Center. Ikenegbu was the
first son followed by Onyeche, Odu and their sister Oyima hence the villages
namely ;
Amawom          Children of Ikenegbu Umuonyeche
The villages were named after the sons and daughter of the founder . Information has
it that about eight to ten villages emerged. Some were sacked and others migrated
away to places far and near in Igbo Land, East and west of the Niger with Owerri
featuring in the name of their new hometowns as Owere in Diaspora. In recent times
some persons who are not indigenes of Owerri, the state capital and who have never
written or published for public consumption any historical account of the founding
or origin of their home town or communities have become Owereologists who give
unprecedented calculated false and hopelessly distorted account of the origin of
Owerri as though Owerri town or community which was in existence centuries before
the British expedition in 1901 had no known origin. Her indigenes are not by
accident of birth but divine providence. Owerri is not a geographical expression. It
has a local setting given by the indigenes. It is not a coming together or movement
of people from different places coming together to settle in a place or a place mixed
with occupiers and intruders or invaders. It is founded through one person and his
family . Prior to the early eighties of the last century, Owerri people the indigenes of
capital of Imo state did not intermarry for the reason of one blood.
Owerri people are peace loving, very friendly, do not discriminate against any
ethnic or tribal group and treat you in a way more affectionate than they do to their
brothers and sisters. They are not criminal or violent by nature. Those who come to
Owerri to work or find a sourc e of livelihood come to stay and not to return from
whence they came for her peace and security .
If you are in Imo State without knowing something about Owerri, the State Capital,
your knowledge of the State is hopelessly incomplete.
The facts to note. 
A. The advent of the British - 1901
B. The Monarchy - the last quarter of the 17th century about 1670- 1680.
The Title of the Eze of Owerri - OZURUIGBO ( The King whose authority spans a
large area of Igboland). 
The first king that is, the Eze- Eze Eke Onunwa
1. Eze Eke Onunwa
1690 - 1735
2. Eze Okorie Onunwa
1735 - 1788
3. Eze Iheancho Okorie Onunwa
1788 - 1845
4. Eze Njemanze Iheanacho Okorie Onunwa Ozur igbo the First
1845 - 1920
5. Eze Ihemeje Njemanze
1921 - 1931
6. Eze Onwuegbuchulam Njemanze
1931 - 1941
7. Eze Johnson Osuji Njemanze Ozuruigbo the 2nd
1941 - 1965
8. Eze Reverend Samuel Njemanze
1966 - 1970
9. Eze Reginald Anugwolu Njemanze Ozuruigbo the 3rd
1970 - 1976
10. Eze Alexuis Anumaku Njemanze Ozuruigbo the 4th
1976 - 1988
11. Eze Emmanuel Emenyonu    Njemanze Ozuruigbo the 5th
is now on the throne as Ozuruigbo the 5th by title, the 8th Njemanze on the throne
and 11th king of Owerri, was crowned on the 11th of November 1989 ( 11/ 11/ 89) 
About 1840- 1850, the kindreds of Eke Onunwa and Okorie Onunwa agreed to leave
the crown permanently with the Njemanze family and became the kingmakers of
Owerri who decide the Njemanze that wears the crown. The oldest man from the
lineage of Akalonu Okorie kindred crowns the Eze of Owerri.

The British Occupation: The peace with friendliness of Owerri people was
The British settled and built;
a. Military Hospital later named African Hospital which thereafter was
renamed General Hospital and today is the Federal Medical Centre Owerri. The
Owerri General Hospital is relocated to New Owerri in Owerri Municipal.
b. Government School in 1906 and added the secondary wing now
Government Secondary School Owerri in 1935 and moved the Primary School to
Wetheral Road Owerri as Owerri Township Sc hool in 1952.
Owerri not only Divisional Headquarters but became the provincial headquarters
of the Old Owerri Province was what is now Imo, Abia plus Afikpo up to Diobu in
the Rivers State. The need to have a seaport informed the building of Port
Harc ourt from Owerri the Provincial headquarters. When Port Harcourt was finally
built, Delta province was carved out of Owerri Province with Port Harcourt as its
headquarters. Note that Port Harcourt was built from Owerri as Port Harcourt never
existed before the advent of the British. 
The Monarchy Revisited: All Traditional Institutions in Owerri are hereditary and do
not rotate. There are no ruling houses. The institution stands in one family. The
hereditary system is not necessarily father to son but to a fit and proper son of the
royal family .
The Njemanze / Owerri dynasty is a first class institution and has been involved in
Nation Building and took part in the 1958 Constitutional Conference that ushered
independence to Nigeria where Ozuruigbo of Owerri HRH Eze Johnson
Osuji Njemanze represented the Old Owerri province of the former of Eastern
Nigeria as part of the delegation led by late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe as did the North
and the West led by the late Ahmadu Bello and late Chief Obafemi Awolowo
respectively .
Eze Njemanze Ihenacho of Owerri was the Vicechairman of the Council of the
Traditional Rulers of the former Oil River Protectorate with Calabar as its
headquarters. The Obong of Calabar was the Chairman of the Council Diplomatic
Ties: Owerri monarchy had diplomatic ties with Arochukwu, Nkwere and the Benin
Oil Prospecting in Igbo Land: This began in Owerri before the second world war. The
Second World War broke out and it was suspended. The war ended and shell D'arcy
returned to Owerri in the forties of the last century to continue the oil prospecting
hence the shell camp in Owerri. Shell was in Owerri up to the early sixties before
moving to Port Harcourt when their level of technology could not strike oil in Iho in
Ikeduru LGA of Imo state a few Kilometers away from Owerri. However, today there
is a Chevron Rig in Owerri but not yet commissioned. 
Culture: As subsistence farmers had implements for farming, practiced crop
rotation, built barns for the storage of yams, built native wooden bridges ( Igbo)
across the rivers to link their farmland across the rivers Nworie and Otamiri, had
their cultural dances, songs, moonlight songs, musical instruments, the wooden
xylophone, opi or oja and odu as wind instruments, drums and percussions made of
wood and animal skin, clay pot instruments etc . marr iage rites, birth ceremonies
and funeral ceremonies, punishment for crimes depending on the scene of the act.
Mbari Culture had its root in Owerri : It is now a thing of the past as religion had
dealt a big blow on the arts and crafts etc .
Generally religion/ Christianity in the main relegated our culture.


Odinala: The sacred religion of the Igbo

By Obi Nwakanma 

This week, dear readers of the “Orbit,” I will like to share with you, something else beyond the roaring political issue of our day. I will like to examine an abiding question of the religion and identity of one of Africa’s most vital cultures – the Igbo – many of whom are actually suffering from a profound level of identity crisis that numbs them from what Azikiwe called “Spiritual balance”: a cardinal condition for self-reflection and self-healing. I was born into a very Christian family and baptized, no more than eight weeks old into the Catholic Church. In fact, for his services to the church, my maternal grandfather was inducted into the knighthood of the church and received a papal medal from Pope John Paul 1. He died suddenly, exactly two hours later on January 8, 1978, on the day he received his papal medal. My mother has since then believed that her father is a Catholic saint. I do not doubt her. But I am a revert to Odinala, the sacred, covenant religion of my Igbo ancestors. Had my maternal grandfather not converted to Christianity, among one of the earliest of such converts in my neck of the wood, it fell to him to be the “Eze Ogwugwu” – the priest of the divinity sometimes called “Idemili” in parts of Igbo land, or “Imo mmiri” or “Ime muru Ochie” in certain other parts: the pillars that hold the ancient chthonic depths. It is the water principle. But my maternal grandfather had converted early to Christianity, taken the name “Francis,” become educated, taught school briefly in Victoria, in the British Camerouns, and returned, and retired as District Works Supervisor just before the end of colonialism, and in all that, allowed his half-brother to be regent- priest on his behalf, and as a compromise, paid all his taxes and the upkeep of the shrine according to the ancient laws. But even as a practicing Christian, my grandfather was known to possess the secrets of rainmaking, and to make rains sometimes, facing the direction of “Igweocha.” The rain-making stones are still buried in the compound of my maternal family. I do remember, during one of the holidays I spent with him, and as a very curious ten-year old, I had gone to him to teach me how to make rain, and he had said, “Taa gbafuo! Oke l’anya ya di gi?!” (“Scamper! Are you crazy?”) in the inimitable tongue of that part of Mbaise. I did scamper, of course, but I did not stop being curious about the sacred order of the Igbo world, which for a city kid like me, was extremely fascinating.

I started my observation of this Igbo world in my first experience in 1975 of the festival called “Ofo Ndi Iche” (the festival of the ancestors) when every family remembered and made offerings to the ancestors, and celebrated communal memory. It always began with the physical cleaning of the land by the youth (young men and women) and the spiritual cleaning of the land by the Four priests (“Eze Ala,” “Eze Agwu,” “Eze Ogwugwu” and “Eze Anyanwu” (sometimes in fact more regularly called ‘Eze Amadioha,” ), with the “Ndi Di Opara” (the Lord first-born sons of the land representing each compound) who would gather in the central shrine of the goddess of the land, Ala, before sun-down on the “Orie-Ukwu” preceding the day of the “Ofo” festival, and make peace offerings, and offer prayers to the great God, Chukwu, and the divinities of the land. Each “Okpala”/”Opara”/ “Okpara”/”Diokpa” was the priest of his family. But aside from that each man or woman was a direct communicant with his/her “Chi” and required no intermediation in making and offering worship to God. A day before the commencement of the week-long celebration of “Ofo Ndi Iche,” the women would have prepared ingredients for the special meal to be cooked; they would make “Usu” for the “mgbam,” and for the “Oriko meal” of that evening. They pounded the “Usu”(a process called “isu-oriko”) with which they would make “Oha soup” without salt, which a person will eat with his or her neighbor with whom they’ve been in enmity, or have exchanged harsh words in the period, before other witnesses, and pledge forgiveness and reconciliation, and make peace. It was often required that a man would carry a gourd of fresh wine with new palm fronds (“Igu-nkwu”)to his neighbor or kinsman preceding that week, and say, “whatever it is that I have done to wrong you, forgive it, as I have forgiven whatever it is that you did to wrong me. Let us make peace.” And it was often a process that was well negotiated, because the Igbo believed, according to their religion, that a world governed by the principle of chaos cannot sustain life. Odinala is consecrated on the principle of peace, called “Udo.” A man walks up to his neighbour’s “Obu/Ovu/Obi” and he is required by convention to make the “peace greeting.” A peace covenant is then made by welcoming him, and sharing the communion of the “kolanut.” The ancient Igbo is made up of five sub-nationalities: Agbaja, Isu, Idu, Oru and Nri. The “Agbaja” were agrarians and workers of the earth, the “Isu” were metallurgists, the “Idu” – what we now know as the “Benin” (some say it is from the corruption of “Ibinu” – an “angry people” bestowed on them from the founder of the Eweka dynasty) were the military lineage, the “Oru” were marine ecologist, while the “Nri” were the diviners and healers- and that is why when the Igbo gather to invoke the ancestors ad collective memory, they say, “Isee!” or “Ihaa!” after every invocation. I was struck by an interview in last week’s Sun newspaper, by Eze Onyenso, the current EzeNri, whom I’m sad to say, may have been educated outside of the culture and the real significance of his office. The colonial reference to the EzeNri as “priest-king” is false. The proper designation of EzeNri is “High priest.” He is no king or “Majesty.” He is an ascetic priest in the very order of Melchizedek, whom we in Odinala think is the ancient Eze Nri Meeabua, who was reputed to be capable of bi-locality. 
All priests of Odinala (“Ndi Eze Mmuo”) undergo the ritual 3-day death in their preparations for the priesthood, and are awakened to become “living spirits.” The Igbo covenant with their God, Chukwu, forbids the making of kings. It is abomination to bow to another man. After Amadioha’s heresy and dare, the Igbo sealed that institution ritually, until it was re-introduced, and not without fierce resistance, through colonialism. According to the covenants of “Odinala Igbo,” God is the only king of the Igbo, and each man carries a unique part of that God, indwelling in him or her called, their “Chi.” The Igbo believe themselves direct descendants of a supreme God, and generally call themselves “Umuchukwu,” and name their children in the many names of their God. Every Igbo man, rich or poor, is traditionally buried like a god, at the descent of the sun, because the Igbo believe themselves to be “gods” on an earthly journey, according to the ancient teachings of Odinala. They travel in death to “Ala Mmuo” on the wings of the sun’s disk, through the divine portal. No true Igbo is buried at noon. It is considered abomination. In actual fact, a very close examination of the preparation and ancient mortuary process of the Igbo reveals a strikingly similar burial rites reserved for the Egyptian Pharoh, right up to the slaughtering of a dog, called “Nkita Anya,” to accompany the dead through the underworld. A false group is now teaching that the Igbo are “Jews.” This is not true. As a matter of fact, we in Odinala believe that the Nazarene, Yeshua was a convert to Odinala. But this is another story. Odinala covenant constructs God as a duality – the unity of the male and female principles (“Chi” na “Eke”), rather than as a patriarchal trinity. Indeed, Igbo ideas argue that the principle of “three” reflects chaos and instability (“ihe mee ato, ya ato!” according to the divinatory language of the “Afa”), and would consider the trinity evil, within its epistemic systems. Odinala-Igbo believes that life (“ndu”) is the most sacred of our divine condition and is prior (“Ndubisi”) and that the human – “mma ndu” is the highest reflection of life. 
The conception of the human is universal in Igbo thought – “madu wu otu” (all humans are same) and “uwa wu ofu” (the world is one) – and the universality of mankind is at the roots of Odinala. Igbo therefore do not discriminate between humans, since all life is equal. To take a life is one of the most serious “nso ala” and a major violation of “Iwu-Ala” (the laws of the earth).
I should stop here for the moment.  




So sad that everthing cultural seems to be overrun by politics. The culture is no more what it was. The story about Iri ji Mbaise is so interesting.
Legends have it that the cradle of creation took place in Ezinihitte Mbaise at “Orie-ukwu” with the birth of five clans-EZINIHITTE, OKE-OVORO, AGBAJA, AHIARA AND EKWEREAZU. In those ancient days, the celebration of annual Iriji took place in every village and town in Mbaise on an important market day of the week like –ORIE-UKWU, EKE-UKWU, AFO-UKWU, OR NKWO-UKWU. The cultivation and planting of farm crops between January to end of May resulted in shortage of food. Families would feed on little available food. This famine period would continue through the end of July when the first species of yam called “Ji-Igwe” would be harvested. This particular species of yam is nicknamed “cut and come again” because when you dig and cut off the early tuber leaving the head underground, it will grow and produce another tuber which will be planted in the next cropping season.The fathers of the households in the villages and towns would be very happy and thankful to God for having survived the famine.To them, this wonder of nature calls for celebration hence a day was set aside for the celebration named “Iriji-Ohuo” -New yam Festival. Ahiajoku is the acclaimed god of farm crops especially yam. During the celebration, prayers and libation would flow in praise and thanksgiving to god of yam.

Before the advent of Christianity, early inhabitants of the Mbaise Nation, “our great grand parents” had Ahiajoku shrine in every household where food and drinks were offered to the Ahiajoku god. Fowls, Goats, Sheep were used as sacrifice. They had the notion of mini gods and one supreme God, the Almighty and Creator of all things.
There are farmers in every village and town who grow and harvest more yams than others. These great farmers were given the prestigious title of “EZEJI”.
They are acclaimed as having the largest farms and could feed hundreds of people with out running out of supply. Though the Ezeji title holders regard Iriji as their particular ceremony, the event is for every person big and small. In the modern age, yam which is the head of farm crops have come to symbolize among other things in our lives—-accomplishments, jobs, productivity in your field, overcoming adversity, another birthday, etc.
On the 15th of August every year, Mbaise people all over the world must celebrate this thanksgiving event individually or collectively with friends and well wishers. They come together to celebrate their achievements and accomplishments over the year with special thanksgiving to God.

Ezeji cultivates the yams, owns the yams, harvest the yams and gives them to people to eat.
It is the role of the Ezeji to roast and cook yams enough to feed the masses that attend the ceremony.
The Ezejis are great and powerful landowners. Ezeji title holder is expected to be an outstanding personality in the community.
Ezeji people play important role in the settlement of land disputes. They pray and bless the new yam, taste it and give it to others to eat.
A ceremony officially marking the eating of new yam
Iriji is sustained and nurtured by Ezeji title holders. Other supporting groups include EZURUEZU MBAISE, MBAISE PEOPLES CONGRESS, NDI EZE MBAISE OR THE TRADITIONAL RULERS. Iriji annual event attracts people from all over the world. It has attracted Chief executives, top government officials, governors and vice presidents over the years. It has become a symbol of unity and home coming for Mbaise sons and daughters.
Unlike many other people, the Mbaise person cultivates and farm in other communities outside his town. The real Mbaise man or woman is hospitable and kind.
He is strong and can withstand hardship. He plays host to unknown visitors. You will find him in almost all parts of the world including areas with harsh climatic conditions and difficult terrain. He hates cheating and will always stand out bold to claim his right. There is a famous axiom that the fifth person in any Igbo gathering is an Mbaise person or th
at person knows an Mbaise person as a friend or in-law.